In 2nd grade, Colt did an intense study of North American birds in his GT class at school. He learned to identify over 50 birds, the class took a field trip to a local state park for bird watching, and I tried SO HARD (and failed) to get a photo of a Steller’s Jay during our trip to Yosemite last summer. “They don’t even LIVE in Arkansas, Mom. They like California.”
But the true lasting effect of the bird unit — is his undying love for Mallard Ducks. His favorite color is green and it was bound to happen.
He’s now done two different research projects on Mallard Ducks for school (top: 2nd Grade, bottom: 3rd Grade), and the duck-love has even gone so far as to influence our Spring Break road trip destination.
I gave him a choice of major cities within a reasonable roadtrip radius and once I told him Memphis has The Peabody and The Peabody has DUCKS — decision made. #MemphisOrBust
The Peabody itself is fancier than our usual travel digs, but the hotel positively oozes southern hospitality and we had a wonderful stay. In case you’re not familiar with The Peabody and why a pint-sized adventurer would be interested in such a grand place, I’ll let you in on the cutest tradition in the entire travel and hospitality industry: The Peabody Duck March. Every day at 11am, five ducks are marched from their penthouse Duck Palace on the hotel roof into the elevator and down to the fountain in the hotel lobby where they spend the day swimming and being photographed by tourist paparazzi. At 5pm, the red carpet is rolled out again and the whole thing is repeated in reverse — the ducks march back into the elevator and back up to the penthouse for dinner and sleep. The whole march is orchestrated by the Peabody Duckmaster, and he is occasionally accompanied by Honorary Duckmasters who are up to the challenge.
Naturally, I made arrangements beforehand for this ultimate duck lover’s experience, and without further adieu…
It was PERFECT.
Jimmy, the Peabody Duckmaster, was amazing and spent over an hour with us after the march. He was a walking Memphis guidebook and showed us all over the hotel, telling story after story after story. One thing led to another and Colt ended up teaching him how to dab while we were standing in the middle of the Chez Philippe dining room.
No doubt we were there for the ducks, but The Peabody is also right downtown and within a short walk to Memphis’s famous Beale Street.
We wandered down to Beale Street our first night in town, but stayed long enough to take this photo and we were headed back to the hotel… Maybe we’ll go back to Beale in 15 years, Buddy – it’ll be more fun then, I promise.
Back at the hotel, this was more our speed each evening —
The Ducks and The Peabody were certainly a highlight of the trip, but we spent three days exploring Memphis — more tomorrow!